To say the West Virginia Mountaineers had a down season last year would be like saying Whitney Houston only kind of died. It is a Bob Huggins-led program, therefore it was likely an abnormality rather than a sign of things to come. With Huggins having a solid recruiting class coming in and Eron Harris returning, the hopes are high for all things West Virginia hoops-related.
The key though, is going to be Harris’ development.
The team as a whole last season was more than disappointing. Harris may have been the lone bright spot, but to be fair, he didn’t exactly set the world on fire. In fact, he showed flashes of brilliance in spurts but never reached a level of consistency that a team needs from their best offensive weapon.
Harris did lead the team in scoring last season. Still, that was only with an admirable 9.8 points per outing — not exactly something worth writing home to mom about. If the Mountaineers would like to step back into Big 12 relevancy and make a return to the NCAA Tournament, Harris will need to be more productive in his sophomore campaign.
There is not a lot in his game that says he can’t. It was actually more surprising that he wasn’t more of an offensive juggernaut in his freshman season. Maybe it had to do with him being passive or only being a freshman, but scoring less than 10 points a game in the upcoming season just won’t cut the cheese.
If I were a West Virginia fan, I wouldn’t be nervous or tepid about the program going forward. Huggins knows what he is doing and Harris has the ability to take his game to the next level. Couple all of that with history telling us Huggins doesn’t coach losing teams that often, and the future is so bright for the Mountaineers that the fanbase will need to wear shades — and maybe a hat.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone